With Queensland’s precarious state of health amid COVID-19, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said that all official events, including concerts and beach parties, will not fall through.
The end of year festival that every teenager has envisioned attending has been rescinded following the Queensland Government’s decision to cancel all forms of large social gatherings. The festival takes place in multiple locations across Queensland including the Sunshine Coast Gold Coast and Airlie Beach.
The advent of schoolies was in the late 1970s, in the Gold Coast, in the weeks following final exams with the Broadbeach Hotel as the epicentre of celebration.
The Schoolies events began to solidify in 1980, when the Gold Coast began inducing students from all across the country for days of inebriation, debauchery and revelry.
With the changing nature of COVID-19, Ms Palaszczuk said that events of this magnitude are perilous to youngsters and their families.
“This is a mass event, it poses high risk, high risk to people that attend, all of the young people but also the people that they come in contact with and of course their families and their friends,”said Ms Palaszczuk.
Today, Ms Palaszczuk furthered restrictions in place for residents from Brisbane to the Gold Coast. This includes restricting home and outdoor gatherings to 10 people. The rest of the state is currently restricted to gatherings of 30 people.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said that cancelling Schoolies was “a really tough decision” as the current teeth grade group have had a “really difficult year”.
Police patrols will additionally be increased on the Gold Coast during the Schoolies period to maintain health.
“There would be an increased presence by officers in the area during the late summer period,” said Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Shane Chelepy.
The premier suggested a quieter celebration for school leavers via booking a holiday with a small group of their friends, within Queensland state boundaries.
“Just as any other person can go along and book accommodation, people are welcome to continue to do that, in those small groups, right across Queensland,” she said.
Despite attempts to stop youngsters from unsafe celebration, the harm prevention network Red Frogs has shown that a colossal consensus of twelfth graders are eager to celebrate their school departure.
“The hunger’s there — and I’d say for 90 per cent they are still very keen to go,” said Red Frog director Andy Gourley.